Gov. Colyer explains that Adoption Protection Act will strengthen the state’s adoption network

By Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D.
This past Friday (May 18), I had the opportunity to defend innocent human life while also standing strong for religious freedom.
Working with the Kansas Catholic Conference, Kansans for Life, Catholic Charities, and other Kansans of good will, the Kansas Legislature passed and I signed the Adoption Protection Act.
Today, crisis pregnancy centers, parish priests, adoption agencies, and other organizations provide key resources to women considering abortions. The Adoption Protection Act will ensure that we protect a robust and diverse adoption network for Kansas women making difficult decisions while ensuring those organizations with sincerely held religious beliefs are not discriminated against as they work to provide loving homes for children in need.
Why is this bill necessary, some might ask? Well, unfortunately Catholics know too well that religious freedom is under assault across this country. Catholic Charities adoption services has been shut down in other states like Massachusetts and Illinois for refusing to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. While this action would never be tolerated under my Administration, without this law, a future Administration could easily amend regulations to trample on Catholic Charities or other faith-based organizations sincerely held religious beliefs.
As Catholics, we understand more than most that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. Catholic nuns and lay people were some of the most prominent participants marching with Martin Luther King in Selma. Catholic hospitals provide for much of the charitable care in this country to all comers. Catholic Bishops speak forcefully for the most vulnerable – the unborn. Catholic Charities and Catholic food pantries serve the poor, the sick and infirm in every state in this country. In my own medical practice, I serve people of any and all faiths and background. We live our faith by serving others in our daily lives.
Service to others and commitment to non-discrimination is the foundation of the Adoption Protection Act. There are over 1,300 children awaiting adoption in Kansas. We need more adoptive families, not fewer. We need to protect the religious freedom rights enshrined in the First Amendment to ensure that people of faith can continue to practice their faith in the public square.
In closing, like many Catholics, I was inspired to engage in the public square as a response to the injustice perpetrated against the unborn with the Roe v Wade decision of 1973. The Adoption Protection Act is an important piece of legislation as we continue to make Kansas a place where we respect life, we respect our neighbor, and we serve those in need.